By Nathan, on September 17th, 2012
We waste a lot of food in this country. Look in the discount carts or Manager’s Special areas of your store for examples of perfectly good food on its last stop before the dumpsters. Go to visit your city’s food bank to see another stop before the dumpsters. 40 to 50% of all edible food never even sees your supermarket due to cosmetic restrictions. Another 30% is just a little stale or is a day or two after its Best by Date which, by the way, is called “best” for a reason. Not “totally ruined after” this date. Only around 10% is bought and consumed through restaurants and stores. Much meat that is revered as nutritious and tasty in many other parts of the world is tossed to the dogs here (I will admit that I personally am uncomfortable with many organ meats, but it is still wasteful).
There are a lot of people in this country alone that are critically hungry, not to mention the other billion people in the world facing famine. But even if that weren’t the main issue, the US government spends more than $1 Billion dollars just to dispose of food waste. And the rotting wasted food and fuel consumed to dispose of food that could be used to feed us all is horrible for the environment. Take a look at this video for more information:
There are things that you can do at home to reduce food waste that can also help your budget:
- Make sure you know how to properly store your produce. Few lettuces or leafy greens do their best in the fridge. Instead put them in a vase of water. They will last twice as long. Or wilted greens: you can revive them with cold water and white vinegar. Don’t refrigerate tomatoes or avocados.
- Buy from the discount and Manager’s Special bins when possible. Not only is it cheaper, but also just as good and keeps it from going into the dumpster.
- Become a Freegan. Not my cup of tea, mind you. But if done properly, I would suppose it would greatly free up your grocery bill.
- Eat the ends of your bread. Total food waste here.
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